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It sounds like the processor fan may be defective and not working thus causing the system to overheat and shutdown. Try replacing the fan to see if that will resolve the problem.
I think I have the same problem. The fan starts to spin up to max rpm (really loud) and the computer never boots up. Have to retry several times until if finally boots. Once it does the fan & computer are running normally. This is a Precision Workstation that ran for several years (~4) without problems. Since the fan spins up right after the I turn the computer on, nothing can really be hot yet. Somehow the system must think something is wrong though since it isn't just spinning up the fan but also refusing to boot up.
Thanks for any help.
Hi! I am experiencing the same problem with my Dimension 8400. It happened the first time last year or so. Contacted Dell and they had me do all kinds of things. Finally, they asked me to unplug the wire that runs from the power supply to the CPU on the motherboard (white plug next to the green monster hood behing the fan). It worked! However, the same problem has returned today (I had to fool around with the cables behind the PC to fix another problem; coincidence?). I unplug the wire again and the PC is now working fine again... for the time being! Hope this will help someone.